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May 1, 2010 / nicotvandenberg

Canon 7D Nature Test Shoot

The past weekend myself along with two other friends, Jamie Richard and Andy van Schoiack traveled to Purisima park near Half Moon Bay. Our goal was to do a simple outdoor test shoot using only available light. We lugged 3 full size pelican cases and a dolly and dolly track for about 5 miles through the forest to a water fall that was promised by passing hikers that never existed. Which we found out later by the park rangers who were trying to close the park as we were making our way out of the forest just before sun down. Besides the long trek through the forest we were still able to get a few shots. Nothing spectacular but a good test to see how our manual Canon FD lens would do using only available light. We used a 19-35mm 3.5f, 50mm 1.4f, 85mm 1.2f, and 135mm, 1.2f. Take  a look and see what we were able to accomplish.



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  1. Carl Sturgess / May 1 2010 1:49 pm

    looks great man! Love the dolly shots!

  2. yiow / May 2 2010 3:48 pm

    Hi Nico,

    What picture setting/mode do you use to shoot it? Is it superflat

    And how did you achieve the dolly shot?

    • nicotvandenberg / May 2 2010 4:07 pm


      I used two different picture styles. One was “Superflat” and the other was “Neutral,” with my contrast turned all the way up to 7 and my Saturation turned all the way down. I wasn’t happy with how “Superflat” was working for me on this test so I used “Neutral” for the majority of the shooting. As for the dolly shots, I was using an “Eazy Dolly System” that allows you to place your tripod on while using 12ft of aluminum track. Shooting in the forest made that pretty difficult so I would set it up and level it the best I could before shooting. For this type of shooting though I would recommend a glide track that can simply mount to the head of your tripod, which will be just as effective and efficient for transporting through rough terrain.

      Thank you and hopefully this helps!

      Nico van den Berg

  3. dominicmercurio / May 4 2010 10:45 pm

    deliciously good-looking footage. are up up by Mendocino for some of that stuff?

    • nicotvandenberg / May 5 2010 12:18 am

      Thank you very much! For the first part of the video we were shooting near Half Moon Bay at Purisima Park. Then the second half we were up around Marin at the Muir Redwood park I believe.

  4. robruscher / May 7 2010 12:51 pm

    Really great shoot. Smooth and crisp. I also agree that the superflat doesn’t work that great. I switched to a color profile that I got from Vincent Laforet. I can’t remember exactly what it is off the top of my head. Keep up the good work!

    • nicotvandenberg / May 7 2010 1:55 pm

      Thank you for the kind words. I have been messing around a good amount with “kodachrome” which has givien me some really great video as well. If you find the profile that you used from Vincent Laforet please send it my way, I would love to test it out.


      Nico van den Berg

      • robruscher / May 7 2010 2:08 pm

        found it.. Sharpness 0, Contrast -2, Saturation -2, and Color tone 0. To me, it feels like a middle between superflat and natural. Working on a short now that uses that profile. Will post on when it is done.


      • nicotvandenberg / May 7 2010 2:32 pm

        Great thank you, I will give that a try. I’ll make sure to keep an eye out for your short. I noticed you are from Maryland, I am originally form around the Baltimore area. I will be traveling to Amsterdam to shoot some short films then back to Baltimore for a week in June, maybe their will be something we can collaborate on.


        Nico van den Berg

  5. robruscher / May 7 2010 5:54 pm

    Yeah that’d be great. Let me know.

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